8-Oxoguanine DNA damage: at the crossroad of alternative repair pathways

Mutat Res. 2003 Oct 29;531(1-2):127-39. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2003.07.004.


Radical oxygen species (ROS) generate various modified DNA bases. Among them 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8oxoG) is the most abundant and seems to play a major role in mutagenesis and in carcinogenesis. 8oxoG is removed from DNA by the specific glycosylase OGG1. An additional post-replication repair is needed to correct the 8oxoG/A mismatches that are produced by persistent 8oxoG residues. This review is focused on the mechanisms of base excision repair (BER) of this oxidized base. It is shown that, in vitro, efficient and complete repair of 8oxoG/C pairs requires a core of four proteins, namely OGG1, APE1, DNA polymerase (Pol) beta, and DNA ligase I. Repair occurs predominantly by one nucleotide replacement reactions (short-patch BER) and Pol beta is the polymerase of election for the resynthesis step. However, alternative mechanisms can act on 8oxoG residues since Pol beta-null cells are able to repair these lesions. 8oxoG/A mismatches are repaired by human cell extracts via two BER events which occur sequentially on the two strands. The removal of the mismatched adenine is followed by preferential insertion of a cytosine leading to the formation of 8oxoG/C pairs which are then corrected by OGG1-mediated BER. Both repair events are inhibited by aphidicolin, suggesting that a replicative DNA polymerase is involved in the repair synthesis step. We propose that Pol delta/epsilon-mediated BER (long-patch BER) is the mode of repair when lesions persist or are formed at replication. Finally, we address the issues of the relative contribution of the two BER pathways to oxidative damage repair in vivo and the possible role of BER gene variants as cancer susceptibility genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Glycosylases / metabolism*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / adverse effects


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • 8-hydroxyguanine
  • Guanine
  • DNA Glycosylases
  • mutY adenine glycosylase
  • oxoguanine glycosylase 1, human